How Smartphones Changed the Camera Industry

All the functions we expect a single mobile device to be capable of were once performed by a variety of separate solutions, from physical maps and landline telephones to digital cameras and CD players. Mobile phones outnumbered landlines in America as early as 2004, and they have completely altered a number of industries along the way.


Cameras went from a standalone luxury to a standard smartphone component in just a few years, and the industry hasn’t looked back as each mobile generation provides a more powerful camera than the last. While the camera industry still serves certain niche interests, its reach is much more limited than it was before the proliferation of contemporary smartphones.


The Current Camera Landscape


Although roughly 85% of all pictures are now taken by smartphones, dedicated cameras still play an important role in some areas. The majority of contemporary camera production centers around video recording, digital cameras, and machines designed for professional use.


As the technology involved in creating smartphone cameras became more affordable and accessible, the gap between a phone camera and that of a dedicated device began to narrow. While there’s still a difference between the image and video quality of a phone and that of a professional camera, it’s no longer enough to motivate most people to purchase an additional camera.


Smartphones and Cloud Integration


Improvements in smartphone camera quality were one of the main factors in their growth. Phone cameras also benefited from camera-focused Android and iOS mobile application development. Unlike a traditional camera, phones offer users the ability to take pictures, edit them in any number of ways, and share them via text or social media.


The capacity to upload images to a centralized cloud also made it easy to store all your photos without physical space or any additional costs. As phones connected more and more of our lives to the internet, the drawbacks of digital cameras from a user experience perspective made them less attractive to the typical consumer.


Camera+, an early photo editing and sharing application including integration with social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter, was released in 2010 and has since seen over 14 million users. It gave smartphone users a window into the possibilities opened up by an all-in-one device capable of taking high-quality images and immediately sharing them with friends and family.


Smartphones streamlined the traditional process of taking, developing, editing, and sharing photos in a variety of ways, and it’s easy to see why consumers moved away from the conventional camera industry so quickly. Improvements in camera quality, combined with the rise of the smartphone as a central communication device, made the growth of phone cameras an unstoppable trend.


Author: Natalie Abermayor
“Natalie is a graduate of McGill University with a degree in International Development Studies and World Cinemas. Since returning to NYC, she has focused on crafting quality content for the app development industry, with a focus on UX design and use case creation. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her rooting for the New York Rangers, attending concerts, or getting distracted by dogs.”

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